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Winter Weather Claims – Roof / Building Collapse

Contributed by Patti Robertson, CompuWeather Forensic Order Specialist and Account Executive

When dealing with a roof or building collapse due to winter weather, the weight of the accumulated winter precipitation (snow, ice, rain) is generally the factor needed to be determined. Usually in most of these cases an engineer is needed to apply weather data to structural data to determine the actual cause of the loss. In new or recently serviced structures, construction defects may also be a factor to consider. In older structures, age may affect the ability to withstand severe or even normal winter conditions.

When managing a winter roof or building collapse, CompuWeather generally recommends a full winter weather analysis for the exact point of loss. This type of report details the weather dating back to the first storm of the season. Included should be a listing of all snow and ice accumulations over time and a complete temperature history. Wind may also be a factor in cases where a partial roof collapse occurred. In these types of cases the accumulated snow may have been pushed by the wind to one side of the roof causing an imbalanced condition and the resulting failure of the structure.

Winter building collapse from SnowWinter building collapse from Snow 2